Things, life, business - they don\u2019t just fall into place. We have to manage things to make what we want happen. Three of our small business experts give some quick advice on how to: manage your meetings so that you don\u2019t waste time, manage your marketing so that you pay only for what you need, and manage your money by cutting costs on export sales. The goal is to move your business forward by solving a core problem for your core people -- and that takes management. Manage your meetings so that you don\u2019t waste time In "How to Successfully Manage a Meeting and Track Deadlines," John Mariotti gives us three things that every meeting needs as well as a simple plan for making sure that \u201cstuff\u201d gets done afterwards. When it comes to a meeting, words get their values from the actions that follow. What did you promise in that meeting (assignment)? When did you promise it (deadline)? Did you get it done (follow-through)? We meet to accomplish specific things and not just run the clock down, but how do you help members of your team see the big picture about their impact in the meeting and in the company? And how do can you motivate them to make the most of their time? John says, \u201cOne of the most effective ways to create the appropriate sense of urgency for making and meeting commitments agreed upon in meetings is to calculate the monetary value of delays.\u201d I used this technique for years (it doesn\u2019t work on everyone, but it worked on me and it worked on my team).\u00a0 As a manager of a nonprofit, I found it helped each team member to understand the value of our training sessions and our meetings, and motivated staff to show up on time. Manage your marketing so that you pay only for what you need Maybe you don\u2019t need to hire a marketing expert (and maybe you do). In "6 Reasons You Don\u2019t Need a Full-Time Marketing Person," Ivana Taylor lays out the benefits of not having a marketer on staff. Ultimately, it\u2019s a matter of logistics: Should this person be an employee or an independent advisor, and why? Ivana says, \u201cBelieve me when I tell you that unless you\u2019ve made the decision that you are in the marketing business, you don\u2019t need a full time marketing person.\u201d And if you decide to employ a full-time marketer, then work with a contractor first, because \u201cworking with advisers before you hire full-time employees will help you make better hiring decisions.\u201d\u00a0 This way you will know what to expect and be able to set realistic and effective standards. So what about your business? How is your marketing? According to Ivana, \u201cMost small businesses fall into these two categories; one with a marketing system and one without.\u201d Where do you fall? Manage your money by cutting costs on export sales Laurel Delaney, in "8 Ways to Cut Costs on Export Sales," gives six quick tips to help you build up your export business including \u201cselling to new countries or territories.\u201d But mostly Laurel shares eight ways to lower your export costs so that there\u2019s strategy behind each action instead of a panic response based on your fears about the economy. She says, \u201cIf you use a price-reduction strategy merely as a knee-jerk reaction to a rough economic climate, it won't work over the long haul. You must develop an export action plan that supports a process.\u201d Laurel suggests that you focus on: Production location\u2014\u201cShift your production to a nation with lower costs.\u201d Payment methods\u2014Ask your bank for the terms you need. Transportation expenses\u2014Ask questions to discover better options. Internet communication\u2014\u201cCommunicate constantly\u2026to stay front and center with your customer base and your all-around fans.\u201d Keep this in mind: Whether you\u2019re an exporter, online, local shop or service based, business is business, and focusing on these areas can help any small business strategically manage\u00a0 costs. Success is in the details, so pay attention, make a plan and put it to work as soon as possible.